“How Did You Two Meet” Part II

Continued from Part One

Now please remember, I had never run a race farther than 3.1 miles. The farthest at that point I had run was 6 miles. Now I was signed up for TWO marathons, back to back months.

Marathon training began late May. I was very thankful for St. Louis – there was plenty of various trails to run on to help keep the scenery fresh. Sometimes I was out running by the Clydesdales and other times I was out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees.

The miles started racking up and my Saturdays started getting very full of running in the morning and then chilling out the rest of the day afterwards.

September came and it was Sioux Falls Marathon time. You figure Sioux Falls, South Dakota, it’s up north… It’s September. It’s gotta be decent temperature wise, right?

The morning start started off well. It was cooler temperature wise before the sun came up. Beginner me figured, hey I can run a 4:00 hour marathon with the pace group! Keeping around a 9 minute pace wasn’t that big of a deal…

For the first half.

I began to realize I had ONLY run half of the race by mile 13 and started to feel the pace. I ended up dropping my speed a bit and watched the pace group run off without me.

Later in the run I was blessed with temperatures up in the high 70s and humidity to go along with it. I was dying from the heat and my overconfidence earlier in the race. I hated myself at mile 20 and found myself starting to walk.

“Don’t stop!”, a woman’s voice yelled from behind me. When she caught up, I recognized her as someone I had talked to at the beginning of the race. “Your legs are going to cramp up and you won’t be able to run again!”, she said as she slowed down for a minute to inform me of my terrible decision before continuing onwards. I thanked her and started running…

…Only to find out she knew what she was talking about. My legs were tired, and were NOW starting to cramp up from walking.

Why did I sign up for a full marathon again?

Eventually I was able to get back into running around mile 23 and started passing a few people up. I noticed even the heat had gotten to some much faster pacers, who were dragging behind their original goals.

I remember getting to mile 25 and seeing my mom who had come with me along with my grandparents at a turn and hearing them cheer for me. That gave me my 6th (or 7th? I can’t remember) wind to get me to the finish line.

God it felt so good to cross that finish line… And sitting down on a curb.

And then feeling terrible trying to get back up so we could get to the hotel.

Not so glorious post-race-photo.

I began regretting that evening signing up to do the full marathon in St. Louis. I remember talking to my mom about it, especially when I had the infamous ‘marathon walk’.

She gave me the sage advice of thinking about it for a few weeks before deciding. And so, I got back to reality the next week, slowly being able to walk normally again. The following week, I was able to get in a few miles here and there. Much slower than usual, but I could run again without hating myself.

A few weeks later, after a longer run here and there, I decided… Hey, what the heck. I’ll give it one more go.

So training boosted back up for my second marathon in three weeks. Thankfully I knew a few running coaches that were able to help me get back to where I needed to be safely.

At the end of October I ran the Rock n Roll St. Louis marathon, and I enjoyed it. I took the lessons I learned from Sioux Falls, listening to my body and not gunning for such a fast finish time. It was a much cooler day, weather wise, and I was able to enjoy running with the pace group I stuck with with no humidity.

I remember around mile 23-24 running into one of my runner coach friends, and him calling out to me, asking me how I felt.

“Great” I replied back to him.

“Good… Then go faster!” Coach Cary yelled back.

What? The pace group leaders also pushed me. At first, I thought they were all crazy… But I felt like I still had something in the tank.

So I pushed myself. And thanks to them I went from a 4:39 finish in Sioux Falls to a 4:12 in St. Louis (St. Louis also having way more hills).

Much happier post-race photo

And that’s when I fell in love with the marathon.

Since then I’ve done two more marathons: my own special 26th birthday marathon and the Springfield Marathon. Chris has been such a great cheerleader to me in both of those races, cheering me on from the sidelines to being there at the finish line to catch me when my knees buckle.

I’ve also fallen in love with racing. My competitive spirit thrives when I cross the start line and I want to beat my previous self time and time again. Sometimes I do… and sometimes I don’t.

But my love for running has never wavered and I hope to grow old with her.

“How Did You Two Meet?” Part I

You know how sometimes people will ask you “How did you two meet?” when they first meet with your and your significant other? They’re expecting something romantic, cheesy, and fun.

My relationship with running kinda started off that way. It’s funny, when I was a child I hated P.E., and hated running even more. I loathed the time of year that we were forced to run a mile for the school’s state performance. Most of the time I sneakily walked when the coaches weren’t watching, but once and twice when I was caught and forced to run, I gasped for air as I watched my more athletic classmates run with ease at a much faster rate.

I was so thankful when high school was over and I was never forced to run a mile again.

Fast forward a few years later, 2010, when my mom approached me asking if I wanted to do a 5K. About that time I was also trying to get into better shape with diet and exercise. I knew I hated the mile and wasn’t sure I wanted to get back in the ring… But when I found out the race had a few food stops (donut holes, ice cream, etc), I decided why not. I could run and earn those sweet treats!

While training for my first race, I loved the treadmill. It forced me to run, but I could also control how fast I was going. There was no real training plan I followed – ran a bit, walked when I had to, then got back into running. I remember being so happy when I could finally get to run 5.5mph for 30 minutes without stopping or feeling like I was dying!

Race day I geared up and started running when the start gun shot was fired. Thankfully I had a family member that started running with me, which helped keep me motivated. I found out very early on in the race that eating during running was a very dumb idea and ate only one donut hole.

I was also not the best dressed, coming from a family that really didn’t run either. However that didn’t stop me from giving it my all. I finished with an official time of 31:00, averaging a 9:59 minute mile pace. I was dying at the end, and incredibly tired, but also super proud as well. I ran a whole 5K without stopping! High school me would not have believed it.

So, obviously the running bug bit me and I kept running, right?

Wrong. It was a great race, but I ended up sticking with the bicycle and gym.

It wasn’t until I finally got into college that I started running along with weight lifting after reading somewhere about how a bit of cardio would help keep me lean. I remember it was early Spring… 2012? I started back up with a mile or two here and there and ran around campus.

Slowly my mileage started racking up to 5 or 6 miles. Except for a turkey trot, I wasn’t really training for any races. It was all about staying fit.

It wasn’t until I graduated and moved into St. Louis in 2013 that things changed. I found FLEET FEET St. Louis, a running store that has group runs once a week with pizza and beer at the end. It was there I made runner friends and really began getting into the whole running thing. I even ended up working there as their Graphic Designer!

Snoopy back in his prime running days and myself

As a worker, I learned a WHOLE lot about running do’s and don’ts. I found out about running apparel, and how wearing the right things like synthetic material makes running a whole lot more comfortable. I learned about the different types running shoes; neutral and stability… And found out I was wearing the wrong shoe and needed to have some stability.

My new runner friends also started getting me interested in running races. I made the resolution to run the 2013 St Louis Rock and Roll Half Marathon.

Then a runner friend pushed me to run a full marathon. Why not? So I signed up for my first marathon in September.

Then in the beginning of April, the Boston Marathon bombing happened. I had gotten word that my uncle, who had been in the race, wasn’t far from where it had happened. That really got me going.

“Screw it”, I said at the next group run, “I’m running the St. Louis Rock n Roll Marathon for Boston.”

To be continued…

Keep Moving On

So a few months ago I made that blog post with several goals for myself this year.

Some of them stuck, others not so much. (Shocker.)

I am continuing to build my knowledge base in my career field. My skills with Javascript have improved from the beginning of this year, thanks to online courses and reading. Having a magazine subscription helps as well, and helps keep me up-to-date with what’s going on along with online blogs.

Drawing more = doodle here and there. Not perfect, but it keeps my creative brain going. I don’t want to burn myself out, so I’m okay with this.

I see so many other women doing so well with their reading resolution! Me… Not so much. I have been reading a lot of career related stuff, but outside of that, not so much. I do need to get on the bandwagon and finish the Mistborn series. Just have to get myself to sit down and make time.

Catching up on Kingdom Hearts is slowly happening. Currently stuck on a boss battle that after a few times every time I get on, I have to get away from the TV to avoid throwing the controller.

This year, so far, we’ve definitely been better about keeping things in town. Besides a few weeks ago, when we took my three-year-old niece out to a children’s museum, we’ve kept things in town.

Fun time with the niece

My niece and I after getting to touch a electrically charged ball. Can you tell we’re related?

This past weekend, we ended up racing the local, inaugural St. Patrick’s Day 2 mile race (after getting a 8 mile run in). It was a great time; fun and fast course, and got to see a lot of our runner friends finish. I finished second overall female with a time of 13:35. Next year I’ll have to give it a shot with fresh legs. Afterwards, we celebrated the Irish way; drinking beer with friends!

I’ve even gotten a membership to Orange Theory Fitness to help motivate me to actually cross train. More on this after a few more classes, but it’s helped keep me grounded AND, after two classes, I feel much stronger.

How have your goals stuck thus far in 2018?

Good Bye 2017, Hello 2018

2017 for us was our first full year of being married, and we had a lot of fun experiencing it together!

2017 Experiences

  • Traveling. A LOT. I didn’t get a ton accomplished outside of this, but bein
    g able to see parts of the US that I’ve never seen before was pretty much worth it. Denver, CO. Raleigh, NC… And got to get back out to Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. Sharing those fun adventures with Chris was a lot of fun.
  • Broke PRs. Running wise, 2018 was a rocket year. I PR’ed my 2M, 5K, 10K and 13.1M distances. 26.2M would have been a PR if my legs could have stayed healthy at the end. I’m happy to say I’m back at it with fresh legs.
  • Drank a lot of good craft beer. Along with traveling, I also got to visit a lot of local craft breweries along the way. A few of my favorites include:
    • Outlander (Seattle, WA): With so many different flavors to choose from, Outlander was definitely my favorite from our Northwest trip. Despite it’s small appearance from the outside, it has a lot to offer craft beer lovers. Meeting the man behind the scenes was pretty cool as well.
    • Bombshell Brewery (Holly Springs, NC): After arriving at the brewery, I had no idea what I was getting out of my 45 minute drive outside of Raleigh. I got to meet Ellen, one of the very few women craft beer owners in the country, and fan girl over her achievements. Their Oktoberfest and Lady in Red both were great; I wish I had of had more time to try more. If we ever make it back out to that part of the country, I will be sure to be back for more.
    • Heavy Riff Brewing/Center Ice Brewing (St Louis, MO): It’s a tie between these two for my favorite this year. Heavy Riff has some excellent dark brews, and Center Ice is fantastic, especially for being very new to the brewing scene. Both are off on their own, so you don’t get a ton of bar hoppers, making them both very easy to socialize and hang out at.

I try my best to not think of goals as resolutions, because let’s be honest.. Resolutions usually fall through in the first few months of the year. Instead, I’m trying to create a list of goals with dates/times tied to them for 2018.

2018 Goals

  • Web Design & Development Improvement. Lately I’ve felt like I’ve been on the “going with the flow” train with my work skills. I’ve been taking a few online classes here and there as well as getting to know CSS Grid, but feel like with frameworks like React.js becoming more and more popular, I’ve got some serious catching up to do. I’m going to update my Web Portfolio (and actually get a URL that doesn’t use my maiden name) and hopefully be able to catch back up to modern front-end web development times.
  • Draw More. To go along with design, I need to feel more comfortable drawing. I realize I’m never going to become a well known illustrator, but drawing more will help me create icons and my overall design skills improve. Plus drawing should be fun, not something I stress over.
  • Reading. Along with the Web Development magazine I just subscribed to, I need to get better about getting away from my cell phone and actually finish some books. I have to finish Mistborn: The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson, and then jump into Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Claire that I got for Christmas this year.
  • Catch Up on Kingdom Hearts Series. I’m nearing the end of Kingdom Hearts II, but need to complete the rest of KH2.5 and get through 2.8 before KHIII is released. Here’s to hoping we’ll at least get a release date on that one this year!

Not a ton of goals as you can see, but I also want to be able to focus on these three (or four if you count the silly one). For myself, in general, I need to be better about being okay about staying at home and getting things done rather than traveling every weekend. I’m sure my wallet would enjoy that as well.

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m still going to get out and have a good time every so often. We already have tickets to see Story of the Year in this weekend down in St. Louis, and a Gulf Shores, AL trip is in the works for May. And of course there will be new craft brews to try along the way.

Just spreading out the trips here and there… For balance.

I hope your 2018 goals go smoothly as well.

Pumpkin Season is Coming

If you know me, then you know Fall is my favorite season of the year. You also know pumpkin flavored anything is life. Here in August, I’m already getting excited by all of the upcoming pumpkin products being advertised!

Dunkin Donuts

I am seriously in love with Dunkin’s advertising this year. I love coffee, lattes AND donuts, and will most certainly be making stops to get my morning pumpkin fix in.

 

Beer

Yes, I am a sucker for pumpkin beer as well. My favorites: Big Muddy’s Pumpkin Smasher and O’Fallon’s Pumpkin Beer. I will never turn down a pumpkin beer though, so any challengers are welcome to try me to see if they can give either of those two a run for their money.

 

M&Ms

I know some people make a face when they see these. So far everything I’ve heard about the new candy is positive, so I’m honestly hopeful for M&M’s White Pumpkin Pie.

 

Cheerios

Because Pumpkin Spice is obviously a breakfast thing. Or late night snack thing. Chris found a box of these for me last year and they disappeared pretty quick. Cheerios hit the flavor on the head, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for these.

 

Recipes

 

I’ve been pinning crazy amounts of pumpkin recipes I’ve been wanting to try… Cookies, bars, and yes, even delicious waffles like the ones shown here by Nora from Savory Nothings. My marathon long runs are going to be fueled by delicious flavor.

 

Pie

Can’t forget about the amazing gem that started it all. Pumpkin Pie > all other pie


Bring it on, Fall.

Marathon Training: Balancing Training, Strength Training and Life

The past four weeks I’ve been training for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Not only has it been crazy hot a few weeks with heat indexes above 100°F, I’ve been spending about 6 hours a week out running. While I know this time will only increase with my previous marathon training experiences, it’s still a bit daunting how much time it takes from your week.

And then there’s strength training. I am 100% behind strength training and have definitely found after adding that to my regular running regime, I have been injury-free AND my running pace has increased.

Generally my gym time has been 45-60 minutes twice a week. Now try to add 2 hours to that 6 or more hours a week and you can see where things begin to become a bit more tricky.

Let’s be honest. Most of us have lives outside of keeping physically fit.

So the past few weeks I’ve been trying to figure out how to balance everything. Where I’ve been able to get all of my run workouts in (mostly during the early morning, when it’s bearable outside), I’ve been able to fit in maybe one day worth of strength training… And that hasn’t even been at the gym. That was in my basement. On a yoga mat.

After listening to Another Mother Runner’s podcast about Strength Training, I am happy to report this is more than okay. It doesn’t even need to be super long!

I’ve been able to fit the following workouts in around 30 minutes and have been able to go on throughout my day/future workouts without being sore. All of these moves are also basic, so you don’t have to worry about injuring your body with one wrong movement. I do recommend making sure you are doing the exercises correctly however to make sure you don’t hurt yourself.

Simple Strength Training Workout
18-20 reps (repetitions), go through cycle 3 three times

  • Lunges
  • Step-Ups (I use stairs or a sturdy chair)
  • Squats
  • Planks (I add in Side Planks to work everything)
  • Push-Ups
  • Side-Lying Clams

Each of these workouts work parts of your body that are used while running. I find that even my arms help pull me through those large hills. My goal is to up my weekly strength workouts to two days a week, but one time a week is a must to keep my body on point. I’m also only currently using my body-weight, but hope to get some weights to use to add resistance.

Keep Me Weird, Portland – Part 3 [The Finale]

Friday we stopped at Biscuit Bitch in Seattle before we headed back down to Portland. The name had us. Various yummy biscuit & gravy possibilities served there along with great coffee/espresso drinks. I had their Dirty Pumpkin Chai Latte; well done Biscuit Bitch.

Later that evening we drove to Hillsboro to see the Hillsboro Hops play. Unfortunately they lost their game, but my goal going in was achieved. We got our picture taken with their mascot, Barley the Hop. LOVE IT. We both also ended up with awesome hats.

Saturday, the whole family ventured back into the city to go to the Saturday Market. I got a cool fox print with our venture and we did the tourist thing: Voodoo Donuts. For as much hate as it gets from some people, I loved my Old Dirty Bastard. Donut covered in chocolate and peanut butter, can’t go wrong.. Though I got halfway through and couldn’t finish (that’s what he said).

Later that day, Chris and I braved the high 90 degree weather to visit the Japanese Gardens. I have been a few times, but it never gets boring. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from everything… Especially with views like these.

We met up with my old friend Kate for a few drinks and board games. We played The Oregon Trail and thought we had finished with only losing Kate to snakebite.. To find out we only made it halfway. No wonder some of those people stopped in Denver.

We also got to see the Naked Bike Ride before we went back home. The memories.

Sunday was going to be another hot day, so the family headed to the beach. Funny relationship between Portland and Cannon Beach; if Portland has nice weather, Cannon Beach is going to be rainy. If it’s hot/rainy in Portland, it’s nice as Cannon Beach. We actually had fog while we were there, but you could still see the ocean and Haystack Rock (a popular place for marriage proposals). Much cooler weather as well, we were happy with low 70s.

Monday was a day full of sad goodbyes. We said our good-byes to my brother, sister-face and Trent before saying good-bye and having one last espresso drink from Black Rock Coffee Bar, my favorite stop every morning in the past week. We said goodbye to the beautiful green trees and beautiful mountain views that we got to experience that week. We even said goodbye to the nicety of having someone else pump your own gas.

We had an awesome time in Portland and hope to be back soon to see my fam as well as all of the awesome things Portland has to offer.

Keep Me Weird, Portland – Part 2 [Seattle Edition]

Thursday Chris and I went up to Seattle. Again, Chris had never been in the area before, and I had only been for a weekend… And that was before I could drink.

We first hit the Museum of Pop Culture, which was pretty cool. Things we saw included: a guitar history exhibit, Indie Game exhibit, Fantasy exhibit, Star Trek exhibit (Chris geeked out) and they had a Jim Henson exhibit. I think that one was probably my favorite. I had no idea how big of a deal Jim Henson was; not only did he create the Muppets, he was also along for the ride of Sesame Street and created a ton of commercials for different companies using his puppets. He even created two movies: The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Both which I haven’t seen, but now know I need to thanks to several “I can’t believe you haven’t seen them!” remarks.

I got two treats for lunch that day. First, I got ramen, which I haven’t had authentic ramen for some time. Two, I got to see Chris use chopsticks. Oh the memories.

Next we hit the Pike Market, because tourism. We spent some time looking around there and checking out the ocean and beautiful views.

Afterwards we went to Seattle Brewing where we were picked up by the Road Dogs for a brewery tour. I love brewery tours; you get to go try different beers at different places and hang out with others who share the same passion as you. The guys we actually went out with had JUST got done climbing Mount Rainier. Impressive stuff.

Road Dogs took us out to the Fremont area to three different stops: Hale’s Ales, Outlander Brewery & Pub and Fremont Brewery. Not only was our tour guide a great guy, we had WAY more tasters than we’ve ever had on a brewery tour. It was pretty much a “Oh you want to try that one? One sec, let me get you that.”

Hale’s Ales and Fremont were both pretty good, but my favorite had to be Outlander Brewery, by far. Their outdoor porch area to chill was super nice, and you had hop vines hanging right above you. They also had an electric harp player. What.

I also got to meet the guy who brewed the beer. Before we went in, our tour guide said Outlander’s brewer looked like a viking. He wasn’t kidding. Super tall, but super cool guy who made REALLY good beer.

My favorite was a tie the Tiramasu Brown; slightly sweeter beer, but not too sweet and the Imperial Peanut Butter Stout; because peanut butter. They also had a very interesting Holy Basil Pale and Ancho Amber. Basil is interesting to drink.. But thankfully it wasn’t too strong of a basil taste. Ancho Amber is what it sounds like; slightly spicy start, but a smooth finish thanks to the amber ale.

To complete our Seattle tour, we got to see the troll under the bridge. I even got to do the Seattle thing to do when you get your picture taken with him. Fun fact: Did you know there is actually a real car buried underneath his hand?

Our third stop, Fremont Brewing & the Troll Under the Bridge

Keep Me Weird, Portland – Part 1

Chris and I went out to Portland, Oregon to visit my brother, sister-in-law and my adorable, just over one year old nephew, Trent. It’s safe to say plenty of good times were had.

We arrived late Tuesday afternoon. After getting through the airport to get our bags, taking a Lyft to pick up our car, and then driving through after work traffic to get to my brother’s, it was… Dinner time.

Thankfully my brother and sister-face (inside joke) know pleeeeeenty of good spots. We ended up actually going to Pour Craft House, where you can order food from nearby restaurants. We also had picked up some Japanese pastries from Oyatsupan next door, so Chris and I settled on sharing nachos while enjoying some awesome craft brews. Definitely check out Pour Craft House if you’re in the area – Well worth the visit.

The pastry is known as Mt. Hood, named after Portland’s neighbor mountain. On the tray is Everybody’s Brewing Sprinkles, Thunder Island Brewing’s Covfefe, Ancestry Brewing’s NW Red, and Saint Archer Brewing’s Blonde Ale. My favorite was Oats and Hoes by 54°40′ Brewing Company (not in photo); a delicious, well made oatmeal stout.

After this, we ended up heading back to my brother’s to ultimately hit the hay – Trent was up past his bedtime and we too were pretty sleepy (still running on Central time).

Wednesday was my first Portland run in a while and boy did I miss it. (FYI – I lived out in Portland for a year while attending culinary school. There’s your fun fact of the day.) It is so much cooler and less humid there, so even hitting the hills didn’t seem so bad.

Afterwards, we WERE going to hit the Japanese Gardens… However, apparently that day was one of the first days of nice dry weather in Portland. ALL of the parking was taken up – So we moved onto Plan B: We hit a public parking garage, got on the MET transit and heading downtown.

Since this was Chris’ first time in the area ever, we had to show him all of the tourist-y things. First: Powell’s Books. If you haven’t been, Powell’s Books is known as one of the largest book stores out there. Downtown’s location has AT LEAST six floors worth of books. I ended up picking up the fourth copy of Stumptown (had to happen) and Chris got another Star Wars graphic novel he needed.

Afterwards was lunch time. We ended up stopping at Deschutes Brewery. Funny story: We were all looking at the lunch specials, and someone brought up the grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup side. You’ll never guess what ALL of us got. So good, especially with that Tillamook cheese… (Yes, we’re all secretly kids.) While we were there, I had the Smash Berry Toast: very good pale ale with a slight berry kick at the end. Yum.

Afterwards we took the Streetcar to NW 21st and 23rd street to check out all of the small shops and to walk off the so good, but so big grilled cheese sandwiches. The full stomach didn’t stop us from hitting up Salt & Straw for some fun ice cream flavors. I ended up with Amaretto Cherry, once again, REALLY good (and vegan!).

It’s hard to go to Portland and have bad food/beer. They know how it’s done.

Peoria & the Steamboat Classic 2017

It’s crazy how time flies. One moment you’re being proposed to, you say yes, the next blink of the eye, you’re married and half way through your first year of being a Mrs.

Our wedding day is one I’ll never forget; the weather was perfect for our outdoor ceremony and the reception was a ton of fun thanks to our family and friends. (Obviously Chris was extra pumped because his Cubs clinched their World Series spot. And we all know how that one ended.)

Now here we are in the middle of June. Life is slowly getting back to normal. Races have been run, travel is coming, and nerd-ing out has happened on a regular basis.


This past weekend we headed over to Peoria to run the Steamboat Classic. We traveled Friday night, because who wants to get up at 4am and drive the same day to and from a race? Our pre-race dinner always consists of pizza and beer.. Carbs and protein. Right??

I searched out several places, and eventually we decided on Old Chicago. Yes, it’s a chain, but a chain we’ve never been to and it had hand tossed pizza.

Hand tossed pizza of awesomeness. And a pretty good selection of craft beer; several of the choices were from around the area. The pizza crust even supposedly had ‘ale’ in it. We were impressed with that along with the delicious toppings.

I tried Cathedral Square Brewery’s Heavenly Honey Razz and it. Was. Heavenly. It’s a great summer beer – light in feel and has a nice sweet taste at the end. Not candy sweet, but more of a raspberry, fruity sweet.

I also tried Bell’s Brewery Oarsman Ale and wasn’t as impressed. Pretty bland, but it wasn’t the worst either.

We stayed at our first AirBnB that evening and had an awesome hostess. We actually never got to meet her, but got to meet her pup. Cassie was a big ol’ teddy bear who loved to hand out kisses. There was also much cuddling.

The next morning we went downtown for the race. It was packed; I knew it was pretty big due to how fast the finishers were from the previous year, but it was still an eye opener when we got there. The weather was great at the start; the clouds hid the sun, there was no humidity and a slight breeze.

I was slightly nervous since I forgot my GPS watch at home. I know people say they run their best races without a watch, but I like to be able to look every once and awhile to make sure I’m not being stupid and running something I feel good now in but hate myself halfway in and half-dead jogging the rest of the way. I knew they were going to have a clock at every mile mark, but still.

We runners have our tendencies we like to keep. I tend to not like to mix it up on race day.

Despite that, we both had a great run. The race course was fun. Not much in the way of uphills… Until you get to the halfway point. We decided to do the 4 miler; the 15K-ers split off in the middle of our run to go do their thing. I looked over to where they were heading and was very happy we made the choice we did. The 15K-ers were sent straight to a pretty steep uphill. Good luck to them, I thought.

However at that point, the weather did start to change. The humidity started to raise it’s ugly head and the sweating commenced. I thanked God for the half-way water stop where I chugged down some water and kept going. At mile three there was a water mister you could run through… And I most definitely made it a point to run through that glorious tunnel of water.

We got to run flat until the last half mile, where there was a nice downhill to the finish.

My favorite kind of finish.

I finished Steamboat Classic’s 4 mile race in 32:46, finished in the top 10 of my age group, and impressed myself by keeping around a 8:12 minute pace without my trusty GPS watch. Am I impressed with my mental status to keep myself in check throughout the race? Yes.

Am I still going to race with a GPS watch? Without a doubt, hell yes.